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Once Upon a Villa


Adventures on the French Riviera

In this wise, warm-hearted, witty, and LOL hilariously funny true account, New York Times bestselling author Andrew Kaplan tells what it’s like when he, his wife and two-year-old son decided to chuck it all and live the fantasy in a villa by the sea in that extraordinary corner of the world – part international café society, part billionaires’ playground, part provincial France – that is the French Riviera. Whether it’s matching wits with French bureaucracy, searching for the perfect bouillabaisse, encounters with con men, eccentric ex-pats and Monaco’s royal family, partying with the international set on Onassis’ yacht, playing chess with a philosophical police chief or adventures and friendships with the rich and famous and the presumably standoffish French, Once Upon a Villa will transport you to a fascinating and shrewdly-observed world that you will savor like your first morning bite of pain au chocolate . So pour yourself a glass of wine, open the book and Santé!

“Hilarious one moment, poignant the next, Once Upon a Villa is the journey of an American author and his young family through Europe as few have ever experienced it. I devoured this memoir, thrilling at the vicarious adventure, the often hysterical scenes filled with celebrities and even royalty. An author with ten lifetimes' worth of experiences, Kaplan has penned far more than a writer’s story but an evocative and witty tour back in time to the French Riviera as most only dream of it. Clever and—best of all—true, Once Upon a Villa belongs at the top of every reader’s list.”

-    NYT bestselling author Tosca Lee


“Reading ‘Once Upon a Villa’ is as   joyful as a great vacation . . . only less expensive."

-       Peter Bart, Deadline Magazine , former Editor-in-Chief of Variety


"With his sharp eye for detail and wicked sense of humor, Andrew Kaplan's  memoir of a newly minted American novelist moving his young family to the south of France made me feel as if I were right there with him. The end result is a delightful page turning Franco/American discourse on creativity, culture and cuisine (and I'm not talking a can of spaghetti)."

-       Sandy Krinski, TV writer, Spencer, Alice, ABC Playhouse, Three’s Company


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